Exposé Online banner

Blackmore's Night — Dancer and the Moon
(Frontiers Records FR CD 605, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-11-10

Dancer and the Moon Cover artBefore hearing Dancer and the Moon, I was familiar with Blackmore's Night only by reputation, primarily from the reviews my fellow Exposé staff members have written about their previous releases. So I knew to expect a mix of contemporary (defined loosely) rock and medieval sounds. Now, after listening to it a fair number of times, I'm still torn how to feel about it. On the one hand, there is great appeal in these supremely catchy melodies, the clean beauty of Candice Night's voice, and the skill of the instrumental work. There is a reason that folk and classical music have retained their popularity to some degree over centuries of change — a good melody can last, if not forever, a really long time. And given my fondness for some previous meldings of medieval music and rock (Gryphon, Philip Pickett), there was a chance this would burrow into my heart. The other hand presents a "but," and that "but" is: but the performances are so precise and polished that they sound calculated. This in itself is not enough to disqualify an album — there are plenty of supremely polished albums that I love — so I'll just say that for me the balance tips mostly to the positive side, if not completely over. For those who haven't heard this band before, they remind me of Renaissance with a bit more rock and a leaning towards older styles than the Romantic era favored by Annie Haslam and company. Several of these tracks have a Russian tinge to them, which Renaissance also did. The beautiful tones of Ritchie Blackmore's mandola, hurdy-gurdy, and nyckelharpa add a nice color to the tunes even when they're not the prime focus. Even if you're not on your way to an SCA gathering, it's worth checking out.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Blackmore's Night

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Roach - Live at Grace Cathedral – This two disc set documents one of Roach’s rare live performances, this one at San Francisco's historic Grace Cathedral on June 29, 2007. The natural reverb of the performance space meshes well with...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues